Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male Or Female? Coloring Provides Gender Cues

Date:
May 28, 2009
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Our brain is wired to identify gender based on facial cues and coloring, according to a new study. Psychologists found the luminescence of the eyebrow and mouth region is vital in rapid gender discrimination.

In the Université de Montréal study, subjects were asked to identify gender based on images where parts of faces were concealed using a technology called Bubbles.
Credit: Nicolas Dupuis-Roy -- Université de Montréal / Journal of Vision

Our brain is wired to identify gender based on facial cues and coloring, according to a new study published in the Journal of Vision. Psychology Professor Frédéric Gosselin and his Université de Montréal team found the luminescence of the eyebrow and mouth region is vital in rapid gender discrimination.

"As teenagers, dimorphism (systematic difference between sexes) increases in the nose, chin, mouth, jaw, eyes and general shape of faces," says Nicolas Dupuis-Roy, lead author of the study. "Yet we aren't conscious of how our brain recognizes those differences."

To discover those reference points, Dupuis-Roy and colleagues showed photos of 300 Caucasian faces to some 30 participants. Subjects were asked to identify gender based on images where parts of faces were concealed using a technology called Bubbles.

The investigation found that eyes and mouths, specifically their subtle shading or luminance, are paramount in identifying gender. Unlike previous studies, which found the gap between the eyelid and eyebrow as essential in gender ID, this investigation found the shades of reds and greens around mouths and eyes led to faster gender discrimination.

"Studies have shown that an androgynous face is considered male if the skin complexion is redder, and considered female if the complexion is greener," says Dupuis-Roy. "However, it is the opposite for the mouth. A woman's mouth is usually redder. Our brain interprets this characteristic as female."

"A man's face usually reflects less light around the eyebrows. This is because they are usually thicker. The same applies to the upper lip and chin, which are hairier areas," he adds, noting people clearly use colour to rapidly identify gender.

This research was supported by the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. PhD student Isabelle Fortin and Professor Daniel Fiset also participated in the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dupuis-Roy et al. Uncovering gender discrimination cues in a realistic setting. Journal of Vision, 2009; 9 (2): 1 DOI: 10.1167/9.2.10

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Male Or Female? Coloring Provides Gender Cues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527121049.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2009, May 28). Male Or Female? Coloring Provides Gender Cues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527121049.htm
University of Montreal. "Male Or Female? Coloring Provides Gender Cues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527121049.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins